Funding wisdom

Funding wisdom

Gary Palmer, CEO of Paragon Lending Solutions

Age is just a number when it comes to entrepreneurship, and older business owners (60+) have a wealth of experience, knowledge, and ambition to offer. However, when traditional banks deny funding based on outdated lending criteria, these seasoned entrepreneurs can feel frustrated and stuck.

People are living longer, while the cost of living continues to rise, and the reality is that working for as long as possible has become the main consideration for many. And to continue running a business requires capital.

Fortunately, there’s a silver lining through a range of alternative funding solutions that can empower entrepreneurs to achieve their business dreams, even if traditional banks are not open for business. Below are three trends for older entrepreneurs to embrace.

1) There’s more to funding than meets the eye

Banks may not always grasp the unique needs and opportunities that older entrepreneurs can bring to the table. Alternative funders, however, understand the changing dynamics of entrepreneurship and are often more open to non-traditional deals.

Many banks prefer to lend money to entrepreneurs over a longer-term, so age can become a factor. But non-bank lenders don’t mind if it’s a shorter funding term, which can assist older entrepreneurs in their funding ambitions.

With age comes experience, and this is a valuable asset when seeking alternative funding. Years of expertise can reassure potential funders that the knowledge to navigate challenges successfully is there. Whether starting another venture or expanding an existing one, a long, entrepreneurial journey can be an inspiration to potential funders.

Depending on the kind of business and its needs, older entrepreneurs can explore various financing options, such as a boost to their cash flow or equity funding, offering flexibility that traditional banks and lenders can lack, and within a unique deal structure.

Alternative funders generally provide more flexible terms and conditions, which can be a game-changer when a tailored financing solution is required.

2) Older entrepreneurs bring a unique perspective to the business world

With many young business owners coming to market, some older entrepreneurs may not feel as relevant as they once did, even if they still have a lucrative business idea. But their perspective on business is shaped by years of experience and insight, and this is attractive to many lenders.

Non-bank lenders are more inclined to invest in innovative ideas and unconventional business models. If an entrepreneur has a groundbreaking concept or a novel approach to solving a problem, alternative funding can be the ticket to successfully getting an idea off the ground.

3) Unlike traditional banks, alternative funders may offer more than just financial support

Many funders are willing to provide mentorship, guidance, and expertise to help an entrepreneur succeed. They’re invested in that success, making them ideal partners for seasoned entrepreneurs who are looking to grow their businesses.

Older entrepreneurs can leverage age and experience as strengths, not limitations. By exploring these avenues, it can open doors to growth, innovation, and success that are beyond the reach of traditional lenders.

Engaging with alternative funders can also provide valuable networking opportunities. At Paragon for example, we have a wide network of over 200 funders featuring like-minded individuals, advisers, and mentors who can offer finance, guidance, connections, and support instrumental to the growth of a business.